It has taken me almost 100 posts before tacking this highly charged subject. I didn’t want anyone to think I was anti-medicine or even anti-vaccine. I’m not, but an email I got last night is forcing my hand. The email was pretty inflammatory — emails on either side of the vaccine debate usually are.
The subject line: URGENT ACTION NEEDED- GARDASIL BILL
The rest of the email explained how, here in New York State, lawmakers would be voting on a bill that would allow “STD shots (Hep-B and Gardasil) to be given to minors without the consent or knowledge of Mom and Dad.” (Except all in CAPS.) There was more. About how “even five-year-olds could nod their heads” and that would in effect be consent. It also explained how the state legislature wants to add Gardasil to the list of vaccines required for school enrollment.
I did a Google search and nothing came up. I went to the official New York State legislative Web site and searched for the bill numbers. Nada. So then I decided to call my State Legislator, Assemblyman Joseph Saladino. The woman answering the phone said she would have him give me a call. After we spoke, I can say that at it’s core, the email was true. There are two bills that are coming up for vote. And yes, our assembly members and senators are trying to not only remove consent from the parents, but also make this relatively new vaccine mandatory for all little girls entering 6th grade. Disgusting.
My assemblyman was understandably concerned that this bill will take control from the hands of the parents and place it into the hands of children, who can’t really make informed decisions.
Here’s a verbatim quote from my discussion with Assemblyman Saladino: “I’m all for protecting minors from all kinds of situations, but there are ways that are more fit and unfortunately there seems to be too much of a pattern of bills that don’t take parents’ views into account, and don’t respect parents abilities to understand what’s best for their children. I want to make my position clear that I am all in favor of efforts to protect children from all sorts of situations. But the way we do it, the nuances involved and the structure of the bill and the structure of the way these programs are implemented really needs to be more fully vetted and really need to protect and respect the views of parents.”
Amen, Congressman. What’s the point of a bill that would remove parental consent? Why should a 12-year-old be able to direct her own medical care? Even more important: Why should New York State tell me that my 12-year-old daughter needs a shot to protect her from a sexually transmitted disease? I’m the parent. I should be able to make that choice. You want to mandate something that you can get through airborne particles such as the measles or the mumps? I get it. I’m not thrilled, but I get it. You want me to let you mandate the same level of care for a disease that I’m hoping my little girl won’t be exposed to until she is much, much older? I don’t think so.
And I haven’t even discussed the fact that Gardasil is a relatively new vaccine with plenty of question marks when it comes to safety. When you Google Gardasil side effects the second link you get a link to Merck’s own side effects page. They are staggering. Fainting and “shaking or stiffening or other seizure-like activities.” Really? I’m not really surprised. The more I read, the more concerned I am. Women have died. Women have become confined to wheelchairs. Research is still coming out about its side effects and safety. For example, two new studies just came out in August. They were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. I’m not going to post them here. You can read an excellent post on the U.S. News and World Report Web site about the side effects as well as the issues documented with the safety and monitoring effectiveness. But the bottom line: there clearly needs to be more examination and research done before we make every little girl put their arm out and get the shot.
I very rarely ask people to retweet or repost my work. However, I am asking today. Please make my post your Facebook status. Get the word out. We need people calling their assembly person. You can find the correct phone number here. We need more national newspapers and news-gathering outlets to pick up this torch. We need to affect grassroots change. WE the people, remember? WE elect people. We have the power to dictate our own laws.
Please let me know how you feel about this post and this topic. I’d like to hear about it.